The Challenge of Nuclear Terror

Sitakanta Mishra

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The study explores the nuances of the global nuclear discourse in the light of the emergence of nonstate actors with an expressed interest in WMD terrorism. This is warranted because we seem to be now moving from a phase of security by nuclear weapons to security of nuclear weapons, material and technologies. Infact, today the amount of effort and resources required to keep the nuclear weapons safe and secure is much more than the amount of security they provide.

The book looks into the details of the phenomenon of nuclear terrorism. It assesses the probability, consequences and preparedness of the world to deal with such a situation. In the process, it re-examines the conventional arguments of deterrence theory and proposes a neo-deterrence framework. The study also considers the probability of a nuclear terror incident in India and New Delhi’s preparedness to deal with such an incident. Taking a close look at the motives and capabilities of terrorists operating in the subcontinent or outside to undertake an act of nuclear terror, the book examines the security arrangements in place. It looks into the physical and the in-built safety structures of Indian nuclear facilities as well as the legal procedures in place to handle such an eventuality. While highlighting that several security arrangements are already in place at the Indian nuclear infrastructure, the study recommends some additional measures to strengthen these efforts in order to effectively meet the challenge of nuclear terror.

Sitakanta Mishra is Research Associate with CAPS - Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi and has earlier been a Research Assistant with the Indian Pugwash Society, New Delhi. He has also been associated with the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal of Cambridge University Press, New Delhi.

The author received his Master Degree in Political Science, from Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa. On completing his M.Phil, Sitakanta is now working on his Doctoral thesis from the South Asian Studies Division, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.




1. From Security by Nuclear Weapons to Security of Nuclear Weapons: A Renewed Nuclear Debate is Long Overdue

2. Nuclear Terrorism and India’s Preparedness: Assessing Probability, Weighing Strength, Identifying Weakness




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